Providence Performing Arts Center

220 Weybosset Street,
Providence, RI 02903

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Loew's Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Once the premier picture palace of Rhode Island, the Loew’s State Theatre (later Ocean State Theatre and Palace Theatre) has been reborn as the Providence Performing Arts Center and features live stage shows and concerts. It originally opened on October 6, 1928.

The Bell Atlantic Big Screen Movie Series periodically shows classic films on the big screen.

Recent comments (view all 53 comments)

VincentPrice on August 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm

When it was the Palace Theater, there used to be two movies for $.99. I saw a lot of Gene Wilder movies, and smoked a lot of dope upstairs in the bathroom during intermission! It was dense with dope smokers. When they cracked down on that, business dropped.

Patsy on February 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Go to the link below to read more about this theatre and the City of Providence proclaiming Feb 17 as Temptations Day. Otis Williams is the last remaining original Temptation.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 12, 2010 at 4:15 am

from Boxoffice Magazine, August 19, 1950:

Promotion Drive Started on Film in Production
PROVIDENCE – A long range buildup to the eventual presentation of “Quo Vadis,” now in production in Italy, is being dramatized by Maurice Druker, manager of Loew’s State. Druker has had a large display case erected in the theatre lobby upon which he posts weekly cablegrams reporting the progress of the film, now about half finished.

In addition, photographs showing the picture in the making are displayed. Intense interest has been expressed by patrons entering and leaving the theatre. Many of them have stopped to ask Druker how soon the film will come to the city.

Note: Quo Vadis would open in New York in November, 1951. It opened at this theatre in Providence, then known as Loew’s State, not long after that.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 16, 2010 at 6:21 am

Item about theatre organs in Boxoffice Magazine, December 22, 1956:

“The Sunday Journal devoted the entire front page of the amusement section to a feature story on the removal of the once-famous organs in the Strand, (Loew’s) State, and Majestic. Carrying a picture of Chester McLean, Strand house-manager, and pictures of the relics of the organs, the article stirred up many nostalgic memories for older moviegoers. A resident of nearby Hope Valley, Theo Smith, is buying up the instruments "to save them from the scrap pile.” He repairs the organs, donating them to churches. He is also assembling a complete unit for his home."

TLSLOEWS on July 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Another Loews State.

gd14lawn on January 5, 2011 at 12:00 am

I think the photos posted by lost memory on 10/28/08 are nicer than the ones on the theatre’s wabsite. Thanks very much!

SCARSRayRay on June 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

This theater showed the original print of Lon Chaney’s London After Midnight. My uncle owned the original hand painted poster which was sold in the late 80s…

I also saw King Kong 1976 on opening day here with the same Uncle as above. It was so packed we had to sit in the last row under the balcony.

Patsy on November 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Watch this amazing video between Joey and the real horses when War Horse came to Providence.

Logan5 on March 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Seems that this movie theatre was simply called the “Loew’s Theatre” from 1950-1972. The Beatles' February 11, 1964 concert in Washington, DC was shown on closed circuit television here along with separate videotaped performances by the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore on March 14 & 15, 1964. In ‘71 the theatre changed ownership and in '72 it became a live music venue called the “Palace Concert Theatre”.

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